This is what I found on WIRED.COM:

It was one of the most hectic Twitter episodes of the year: The One Where Everyone Freaked Out About Friends Going Away. Earlier this month, a few Netflix users noticed that the beloved series, still one of the most-watched sitcoms in the world, was scheduled to depart the streamer in January. Twitter went into shock-and-aww mode, mourning the loss of one of Netflix’s late-night binge staples. Preemptively, as it turned out: Within hours, the company announced a $100 million deal with the show’s owners, WarnerMedia, to keep the show for another year. The Central Perk gang would still be there for you—at least for now.

The panic over Friends, and the nine-figure renewal that ended it, were indicators of just how costly (and caustic) the streaming wars will become in the year ahead. With several high-profile new services being launched next year, including Disney+ and unnamed entries from both Apple and AT&T, viewers will find themselves subjected to the programming and pricing whims of various studios, tech companies, and mega-conglomerates—all of them locked in a battle for your attention.

The hope for many of these companies, of course, is that they can prove to be a viable competitor to Netflix, which is expected to hit nearly 150 million worldwide subscribers by year’s end, and which continues to mint must-see original shows (The Haunting of Hill House), specials (Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette), and movies (the critically beloved, shakily handled Roma). But Netflix is just one of a trio of streaming titans, all of which had notable years, at least creatively: Hulu invested in original movies and found itself an Oscar contender, while Homecoming proved Amazon could make a small-screen hit with a big-time movie star.

Read more at WIRED.COM.

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